in an essay in the Huffington Post entitled “Poverty, Politics, Racism, and School Reform”:
Newark’s inconvenient truth: Our poorest neighborhoods, disproportionately African American, contain some of the lowest-performing public schools in the country and have for a long time. A child in the South or West ward is virtually guaranteed to be in an elementary school where only 30 percent of students can read — or in a high school built for 1500 students with only 500 enrolled and a graduation rate below 30 percent.
It is often said that a society should be judged by how it treats its citizens in greatest need. By this standard, Newark is failing miserably. The achievement gap that separates economically disadvantaged students and students of color from their more advantaged peers is real and the facts in Newark are especially stark.
Here’s some background.